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St. John's Worship Service - Easter Sunday
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Sunday, March 31, 2024
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PRELUDE     I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.   (Handel)  
Rick Vanstone, violin
P:   Alleluia! Christ is risen!
C:  Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!
P:  We begin in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
C:  Amen
P:  Jesus Christ was the first to conquer death, the ruler of all the kings of the earth, and by his blood he set us free from our sins.   Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
(A brief silence for reflection and self-examination)
P:  Most merciful God, we confess to you that we are dead in trespasses and sins.  We have forgotten your promises and forsaken your will.  In your great mercy deliver us from the death we deserve, for the sake of Jesus Christ.
P:  Christ was handed over for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.  In Jesus Christ we have forgiveness, life, and resurrection from the dead.
P:  As an ordained minister in the Church of Christ, and by the authority of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, I declare to you the forgiveness of all your sins.
C:  Amen.
+ The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God +
GATHERING SONG: Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (ELW 365) VS 1, 3, 4 
P:   The grace of our Risen Savior and Lord, the Love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C:  And also with you.
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
+ WORD +
+ God speaks to us in scripture reading, preaching and song +
FIRST READING: Acts 10:34-43
34Peter began to speak to [the people]:  I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. 
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
PSALM: Psalm 118:1 2, 14 24
1Give thanks to the LORD, for the | LORD is good;
God's mercy endures forever.
2Let Israel | now declare,
"God's mercy endures forever."
14The LORD is my strength | and my song,
and has become | my salvation.
15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents | of the righteous:
"The right hand of the | LORD acts valiantly!
16The right hand of the LORD | is exalted!
The right hand of the | LORD acts valiantly!"
17I shall not | die, but live,
and declare the works | of the LORD.   
18The LORD indeed punished me sorely,
but did not hand me over to death.
19Open for me the | gates of righteousness;
I will enter them and give thanks | to the LORD.
20"This is the gate | of the LORD;
here the righteous may enter."
21I give thanks to you, for you have | answered me
and you have become | my salvation.   
22The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief | cornerstone.
23By the LORD has | this been done;
it is marvelous | in our eyes.
24This is the day that the | LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be | glad in it.   
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you unless you have come to believe in vain.
?3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
Word of God, word of life. Thanks be to God.
* GOSPEL:  Mark 16:1-8
1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint [Jesus  body]. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another,  Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?  4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them,  Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.  8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
SERMON Pastor Wende Bleam
HYMN OF THE DAY Awake, My Heart, with Gladness (ELW 378)  vs. 1-4
With the whole church, we profess our faith using the Nicene Creed  
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,*
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Offerings may be placed in the tray as you leave the sanctuary, or on line using the donate button on our website, or mailed to the church. All gifts are welcomed and appreciated.  Thank you for supporting our ministry as we bring God s Word to people and help provide for their needs.
Risen One, 
you call us to believe and bear fruit. May the gifts that we offer here
be signs of your abiding love. Form us to be your witnesses in the world,
through Jesus Christ, our true vine. Amen.
Rejoicing that Jesus is risen and love has triumphed over fear, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need of good news.
Holy God, we pray for the body of Christ, the church. Where the church is persecuted, protect it. Where the church is privileged, grant it humility. Where the church is fractured, heal it. Guide us all to embody Christ s love in the world. God of grace, hear our prayer.
Life-giving God, we pray for the earth, your good creation. Join our prayers with branches lifted in praise and roaring waters of new life, that together we may proclaim Easter hope. God of grace, hear our prayer.
Merciful God, we pray for all peoples and nations. Free oppressed communities from occupation, exploitation, and abuse. Teach leaders your way of justice. Empower peacemakers and all who work to end violence and strife. God of grace, hear our prayer.
Lord, we pray for the people of Israel and Palestine, for those the Gaza Strip who are suffering the ravages of war  We also pray for the Ukrainian people that they be surrounded by your love and protection against the attacks on their country.  Lift them up, and protect, them, end this war against them and let your peace reign.  God of grace, hear our prayer.
Liberating God, we pray for people everywhere who long for good news. Roll away the stones that keep people from living with dignity and wholeness. Breathe new life and hope into people struggling to make it through each day. We pray especially for the family of Hazel Hammond, the family of Kenny Thomas, and the friends and family of Lynda Strand, Barb, Calvin, Krystal, Alexandra, Jim, Robin, Dan, Sue, Jennifer, Ray, Ashton, Justin, Lois, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Jose, Hoon, Pat, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Rick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts.  We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit.  Grant them healing and wholeness. Hear us, God of grace, hear our prayer.
Loving God, we pray for this community of faith and for your Spirit in our midst. Feed us at your Easter table and fill us with your wisdom, that we may serve and care for others. God of grace, hear our prayer.
The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.
+ MEAL +
+ God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ +
The Lord be with you.
And also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, for the glorious resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ; the true Paschal Lamb who gave himself to take away our sin, who in dying has destroyed death and in rising has brought us to eternal life.  And so with Mary Magdalene and Peter and all the witnesses of the resurrection, with earth and sea and all their creatures and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Blessed are you, O God of the universe. Your mercy is everlasting
and your faithfulness endures from age to age.
Praise to you for creating the heavens and the earth.
Praise to you for saving the earth from the waters of the flood.
Praise to you for bringing the Israelites safely through the sea.
Praise to you for leading your people through the wilderness
to the land of milk and honey.
Praise to you for the words and deeds of Jesus, your anointed one.
Praise to you for the death and resurrection of Christ.
Praise to you for your Spirit poured out on all nations.
In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
With this bread and cup we remember our Lord's passover 
from death to life as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
O God of resurrection and new life:
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Bless this feast.
Grace our table with your presence.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Reveal yourself to us in the breaking of the bread.
Raise us up as the body of Christ for the world.
Breathe new life into us.
Send us forth,
burning with justice, peace, and love.
Come, Holy Spirit.
With your holy ones of all times and places,
with the earth and all its creatures,
with sun and moon and stars,
we praise you, O God, blessed and holy Trinity,
now and forever. Amen.
Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.
Come and know Christ,
broken and poured out for you.
CHOIR ANTHEM     Jesus Shall Reign
The body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you. Amen.
The body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
Shepherding God,
you have prepared a table before us and nourished us with your love.
Send us forth from this banquet to proclaim your goodness and share the abundant mercy of Jesus, our redeemer and friend. Amen.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
The God of resurrection power, the Christ of unending joy,
and the Spirit of Easter hope ? bless you now and always. Amen.
SENDING SONG The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done (ELW 366)
Alleluia! Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Go in peace. Serve the Risen One. Thanks be to God.
POSTLUDE:     Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds --  Ferguson
From Sundays and Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #44714. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of March by the Shortt family in memory of Beatrice and Edwin Shortt.
YOU CAN HELP!  You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done.  Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards.  Please see MaryAnne Rossi if you wish to purchase and gift cards.  Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry. 
Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON.  Hunger doesn t take a vacation.  Please consider making a donation of a food item each week. If you are in need of food, please notify Pastor Wende and she will let you know what we have available.
The Social Ministry Committee would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for small fundraising and/or social ministry events that we could pull off with minimal effort. Challenge us with your ideas!!
With our church building getting older, we need everyone s eyes and ears to help keep her in good repair. If you see any problems like a burnt out light bulb, please let Barb or Bud know or drop a note in the offering plate on Sunday. We need to get a jump on current or upcoming problems.
Our Financial Response  (February)   
Budgeted costs per month      $   8,443.07
Offering last month      $   5,109.29
Budget required to date (2 months)      $  16,886.14
Total received to date      $   9,993.58
Budget required to date (2 months)   $    800.00
Total received to date       $    622.22
Please continue to support St. John's.  Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.
Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our  website:  or sent by mail to
St. John s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.